Before Birth: Getting Ready
Learning in the Womb
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Prenatal Developmental Milestones
Birth is often described as a miracle.
What is even more miraculous though is everything that happens in the nine months preceding your baby's arrival!
Read on to learn about how your baby's senses and intelligence develop during her incredible journey inside the womb.
Week 7 - Your baby's first touch receptors develop in his lips and cheeks. Over the next six months these will spread to everywhere else in his body.
Week 11-15 - Your baby's nose is developing.
Week 13-15 - Your baby already possesses mature taste buds. She can detect strong flavors in the amniotic fluid, and will increase her swallowing in response to sweet tastes.
Week 18 - Your baby's ears and brain have developed sufficiently for him to begin to hear his mother's heartbeat and voice, and the sound of blood rushing through the umbilical cord.
Week 25 - Your baby's ears are structurally complete. She can now clearly hear her mother's voice and perhaps her father's (if he is close enough). She will also startle in response to loud noises. By week 27 she may be able to recognize her parents' voices.
Week 26 - Your baby's eyes open and start blinking! He will be able to see dim shapes by week 33, when the pupils of his eyes begin adjusting to changes in light.
Week 28 - Your baby can taste more subtle flavors and is swallowing around a liter of amniotic fluid a day. She is also aware of odors. Until recently scientists believed that breathing was required for smelling. It's now thought, however, that a baby picks up smells from the amniotic fluid as it passes over the nasal cavities. It's likely that a baby's first tastes and smells help prepare her for drinking breast milk, which changes flavor according to what the mother has been eating.
Week 32 - Touch receptors have spread to all parts of your baby's body, making it universally sensitive to temperature, pain and pressure.
What does this all mean for you and your baby? Go to the Learning in the Womb section to find out how you can make the most of your baby's time in utero!